About Microsoft Excel

How to import a text file or a comma separated values (CSV) file into Excel

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Text files are compact files and hardly prone to attack by viruses.You can get Comma Separated or CSV files from a variety of databases like MySQL. Therefore importing such CSV files into MS Excel provides a great way to perform calculations and analysis on the imported data.
Let's learn how to implement the process of getting data into MS Excel via CSV text files;
  • Click on the Data tab
  • From the Get External Data group we select 'From Text'
  • From the window 'Import Text File' we'll select our file from the appropraite folder
  • Click on Import
  • A new window call Text Import Wizard Step 1 of 3 opens
  • It first informs us that that 'The Text  Wizard has determined that your data is Delimited'
  • It also tells us: If this is correct, choose Next, or choos the data type that best describes your data.
  • The Delimited option is automatically selectec
  • Sometimes your data may be 'Fixed Width' and you may need to select this option
  • The wizard also offers the option of the row from which you would like to import the data. The default value is 1.
  • Below this it shows you a preview of the data that you are going to import
  • We click on Next 
  • In the new window Text Import Wizard Step 2 of 3 we are informed: that this screen lets you set the delimiters your data contains and that you can see how your text is affected in the preview below. 
  • Under Delimiters the Tab option is selected by default
  • We deselct the Tab option and select Comma because our delimiter is a comma
  • Also note that you can check the option 'Treate consecutive delimiters as one' because while typing the data entry operator can enter two commas
  • You have the Semicolon and Space as other delimiter options. Using Other option you define your own delimiter
  • When we click on comma our data separates into columns as in a table which you can previw
  • Click Next
  • Text Wizard Impotrt step 3 of 3 tells us that this screen lets you select each column and set the Data Format. 
  • The column data format 'General' is the default option. 'General' converts numerical values to numbers, date values  to dates, and all remaining values to text.
  • We click Finish
  • A new window with the title Import Data opens
  • This window asks the user 'Where do you want to put the data?
  • It offers to put the data in the Existing Worksheet in cell A1
  • You can place the data in the cell of your choice and also in a New Worksheet
  • We select cell A3
  • We click on 'Properties...'  and here we can select 'Refresh data when opening the file' because if edit the file we will automatically get the latest data into our Excel worksheet when we reopen the file
  • We click OK and the again OK to get our data into the Excel worksheet
  • Here we can perform more calculations quickly and easily
We have repeated the procedure with another interesting CSV file imported from the Google keyword research tool to demonstrate how important and useful such import of data into Excel is.


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